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May 2017

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A report from MyDrivers has surfaced, citing multiple supply chain sources

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) used its A10 Fusion chip in the latest flagship iPhone this year, and reports have surfaced that it’ll use an A10X chip for next year’s iPhone. As for the flagship in 2018, Apple could use the A11 chip made using 7-nanometer technology by TSMC.

According to a report published by MrDrivers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will be Apple’s exclusive partner for the A11 CPU chip to be used in the 2018 iPhone. It will reportedly sport a 7nm design for the first time, ushering in another era of seamless performance and power efficiency in the upcoming iPhones.

For next year’s iPhone, TSMC could be one of Apple suppliers for the 10nm CPU chip, while this year’s A10 Fusion relies on its 16 nanometer technology. Another advantage of using 7nm over 10nm or 16nm is that Apple would probably be able to make its future iPhones even more thinner and lighter, due to the shrinking size of the die.

While most of the reports surfacing around are based on mere rumor, this particular report stems from TSMC’s trial tests of manufacturing the 7nm-based chip, that would enter full-scale production in the 4th quarter of 2017 and 1st quarter of the year the iPhone 8 is supposed to be launched by Apple. We’ll let you know more about it as we find out.

JPMorgan keeps an Outperform rating on GoPro stock

GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO), after several months of teasing, has finally announced its two most awaited products, the Hero 5 and Karma drone. “With these new products, we’re delivering on our promise to make it easy to capture and share engaging stories,” said CEO Nick Woodman. Mr Woodan added that the new camera allows customers to easily edit and subsequently share content on the go, something the company has been promising since its IPO.

While the street largely responded pretty well to the announcement, analysts at JPMorgan were not excited. The firm in an updated research note sent out to clients and investors stated it wasn’t ‘overawed’ by the company’s product announcement. 

At the same time, however, analysts at the firm contended that the product launch was much wider and better than previously estimated. The firm currently reiterates an overweight rating on GoPro stock, while its estimates of the company have remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, investment firm FBN securities in its updated research note raised its price target on the company’s stock to $15 from $13, while keeping a Sector Perform rating. The firm highlighted that video stabilization features for the Hero 5 series and Karma was the major highlight of the product launch.

The firm, however, did had some reservations regarding the pricing for the Hero 5 that goes for $50 to $100 less than its predecessor, the Hero 4 black. Additionally, the firm also pointed out that GoPro’s Karma drone stands to face tough competition from DJI’s phantom drone.

Wedbush Securities also raised its price target on GoPro stock in view of the product launch to $17.50 from $14.50, while reiterating an Outperform rating. Wedbush analyst highlighted that the new products lived up to the hype even after such a long wait on the back of their attractive features.

Microsoft and the US Justice department appear in court on Monday for customers data protection

Microsoft appeared in court along with the US Justice Department (DoJ) on Monday for customers’ privacy concerns. The company has made an argument that customer’s data used by law enforcement for surveillance purposes is indeed a violation of customer privacy rights. The government at the other end states that the company does not have any rights to sue on behalf of its customers.

Both the parties appeared in the Seattle court on Monday to verify if Microsoft has rights to push law enforcement back and protect its users data. The case has been going on since 2016, between these two parties. Gag orders by the government prevent tech and social media companies from informing users that their data is being watched or investigated, which is considered wrong and unethical.

The company said that the DoJ has taken advantage of the ECPA, which was formed back in 1986, which is when all of this technology did not even exist. The technology we use today has enabled the government to track user information easily through investigations. The company has so far received almost 5000 demand by federals for customers’ information from 2014 to 2016. Half of the demands were gag orders which led to the company being unable to inform users about the developments.

The gag orders had no time limit and the user information was attained with the customers’ knowledge. Microsoft won a lawsuit back in July, 2016, which was based on user privacy against the government of the United States.  The tech company now believes that customers have the right to know that the government is looking at their information and most importantly that is happening through the company’s database.

Jennie Kneedler, an attorney for the DoJ said on Monday, “Microsoft only provides content to the government when the government gets a warrant for the content. The process of getting a warrant from a neutral magistrate is the core to safeguard of the fourth Amendment.”

Users have become well aware of their rights online, and how information is used, thus they should also user social media and technology with caution. Microsoft has done what needs to be done to protect its customers, but too shall know that the government uses the information they give to the company for something completely different than surveillance.

The Country Caller discusses estimated figures for both the companies which are just a couple of hours away from disclosing their financial earnings

News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) & Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS) are set to report their respective quarterly earnings, after the market closes today. The Country Caller reviews the whisper numbers for both the corporations and it seems that OAS will miss the Street’s top line estimates, while NWSA will report in line revenue with the Street.

News Corp

News Corp is about to release its earnings for the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 after the closing bell today. The data on FactSet reveals Street’s expectations of one cent per share, which suggests a 90% decrease in earnings sequentially. For the same quarter last year, the company reported 22 cents per share in earnings, which indicates the company is expected to report a 95.45% annual decline in per share earnings.

The consensus expects NWSA’s revenue to come in at $1.98 billion, which is slightly below Estimize’s projection of $1.989 billion. That would be 10% lower than its sales of $2.2 billion last quarter. For 1QFY16, revenues came in at $2.01 billion, which implies a 1.49% annual decline in sales this quarter.

Oasis Petroleum

Oasis Petroleum is scheduled to report its earnings for 3QFY16 today. The Street expects a loss of 19 cents per share. This indicates 311.11% decline in earnings annually as for 3QFY15, the company reported a profit of 9 cents per share. Earningswhispers.com expects OAS to report a slightly lesser loss of 17 per share versus the consensus expectations. In the preceding quarter, the company reported adjusted loss of $0.11 per share.

The consensus expects Oasis’ total revenue to come in at $178.12 million, hinting toward a 2.16% QoQ decline. For the same quarter last year, the company reported $197.235 million, which calls for a 9.69% annual decline, if OAS meets the Street’s expectations. Estimize, in contrast with the Street, expects Oasis Petroleum to report lesser revenue at $175.20 million.

Amazon increasingly looks onto beating rivals on speed of delivery, significantly reducing delivery times for Prime members

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been reported to speed up its delivery processes for USB cables, cosmetics, smartphone screen protectors and other flat and small items. It is hoping to do so to increase pressure on the rival marketplaces that aid foreign suppliers and manufacturers in selling directly to the US consumers.

The e-commerce site further ensured that such items would now be easily delivered to the Prime members of the company within five business days. The delivery time is down compared to earlier delivery time of eight days. Also, delivery of inexpensive and small items in China has been made faster than that of other rivals including eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA) and Wish.com. The delivery period of these rivals range from 15-30 days.

Amazon has used similar tactics earlier in the US market, which has helped it in gathering dominating market share in the online shopping segment. This has enabled it to increasingly differentiate from its competitors globally. Amazon has hoped on taking advantage of increased transactions in FY16. The transactions are expected to increase by 10% year-over-year and would reach $30 billion. However, the spokesman of the company failed to comment further.

This news came in after it reduced its shipping fees two months earlier for merchants who use its Small and Light program. This service enabled merchants to offer free shipping to customers whose bill is below $10 or less. Following this, former executive, Neil Ackerman stated: “I expect the small and light program to explode in volume.” It believes that other rivals would no longer be able to compete on its customer service or speed of delivery.

Furthermore, the Seattle-based business aims on continuously refining its delivery system. This would enable it to surpass rising competition from rival market places that have started helping Chinese markets to cater to the US market directly using e-Packet. E–Packet is a deal signed between China post and US post, providing cheap access to Chinese markets to the US consumer base especially for small package weighing at most 1.7 Kgs.

If consumers on Amazon use the service, the company would receive less money than it had achieved on its packing and delivery systems. Also, the sales would take longer delivery times than usual. However, using its own efforts, it can reduce the shipment time by encouraging delivery of items directly to its warehouses. Also, the items could be converted into Prime eligible category, meaning the products would be available at discounts for those who pay about $99 to Amazon on annual basis.

Furthermore, it would create a win-win situation for both merchants and consumers. For merchants, it can increase orders by speeding up delivery and for customers, the product would be more readily available and that too on discounts.  

Following this, investors are highly bullish on the strategies of the company. The analysts at FactSet Fundamentals have provided the company with 31 Buy, six Overweight, and six Hold evaluations. The average target price is $885.89, with upside potential of 12.99% over the previous closing price of September 8.

Apple Inc Pay is not a threat to PayPal Holdings Inc business as per BTIG analyst

PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) stock has lost 6.5% of market value in last five days as the news hit the market that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Pay would be available for the users of Safari browser on iPhones and iPads, which have inbuilt TouchID fingerprint technology. The market took this news as a threat to PayPal growth and became the reason for decline in stock price.

BTIG analysts believe that market overreacted to the Apple Pay news as there are many reasons which imply that the latter is not much of a threat to PayPal business.  The research analyst believes that PayPal has access to a higher customer base than Apple, as Apple’s operating system is used by 14% of the users globally as per IDC research in 2015, which is a limiting factor for Apple Pay growth.

Conversely, PayPal is operational in more than 200 countries and 50% of its revenue comes from merchants or consumers who are based outside of US. Moreover, the analyst in the report also highlighted that if Apple Pay was a threat to PayPal, then it would have impacted the business when it was initially launched in October 2014. However, PayPal posted an increase of $15 billion quarterly run-rate payment volume, in the same period. Therefore, the research analyst at BTIG sees Apple Pay as less of a threat which could have only a slight adverse effect on PayPal business.

BTIG analyst maintained their buy eating with a price target of $48 for PayPal stock.

Microsoft’s next model of Surface Pro is fully-expected to incorporate greater fire power compared to its predecessor model

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to make huge waves in the 2-in-1 market with the release of its next-generation Surface Pro, popularly dubbed as the Microsoft Surface Pro 5. Interestingly, the upcoming Surface hybrid device is tipped to arrive with significantly greater fire power compared to its predecessor model, which could potentially mean bad news for its 2-in-1 rivals.

With the recent release of Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) latest Kaby Lake processor, the tech world can safely expect the upcoming Surface Pro 5 to harness the power of Intel’s seventh-generation processor. For those who don’t know, the chip making giant has designed its latest processor to be both faster and more efficient in every way compared to its predecessor, Intel Skylake. Intel Kaby Lake will ensure that the next Surface Pro is both faster at processing and more efficient at conserving power compared to its previous-generation model.

Also, the upcoming 2-in-1 device is tipped to sport an upgraded display screen which will come as highly-welcome news to heavy multimedia users. Rumors state that the Surface Pro 5 will either make use of an UltraHD display or a 4K resolution display, designed to be a step-up compared to the display currently sported on the Surface Pro 4.

Microsoft is expected to implement its latest Windows 10 operating system in its next line of Surface devices, including its Surface Book 2 and the much-discussed Surface Phone. The same can be said about the next Surface Pro, ensuring additional efficiency and smoother performance on the upcoming 2-in-1 device.

The Redmond-based tech giant is expected to roll out its next-gen Surface Pro before the second-half of 2017. Comment and let us know if you are excited about Microsoft’s next line of Surface offerings.

The Cupertino-based giant has patented a new feature which would see the end of the already controversial Lightning port

From ditching the 30-pin connector to the 3.5mm headphone jack, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has removed key features from iPhones in the past. Now, the company looks to take something even bigger out for its next iPhone, the lightning port itself.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has seen a new patent on the cards which allows pockets of data to pass through an optical connector. We believe that the introduction of this optical connector is something which the company can take towards refining the design of the phone, further. The company wants to make all the imperfections in the iPhone go away and the only thing which will stop them is to take out the ports and making it whole.

The company has also been an enforcer of going wireless in the past few months as its trying to make the public use the wireless AirPods; although the AirPods haven’t had the same effect as this would. The AirPods are seen as something that has been forced upon the public before its time. The users would have been better off with a wireless option rather than given no choice, almost.

However, charging through the optical sensor would be something that people wouldn’t be too worried about. It’ll probably be like a connector, magnetic, which could be used as a data cable. The users might be able to use this connector as a way to charge their phones or transfer files across a certain platform.

The idea of a wireless system which would make users be able to charge their device won’t put off the public as much as the missing 3.5mm headphone jack has. And as much as we hate the AirPods, we don’t seem worried about a world with the new patented inclusion. However, we do have to say that the patent is just a patent at the moment. Companies such as Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNFL), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) amongst others, get patents all the time of different things which we think might help us in a way. However, we can’t help but getting this way with this new piece of information.

It would certainly be something to look forward to, if included in the iPhone 8. The company has reportedly been planning something big for its 10 year anniversary of the iPhone. Other inclusions are reportedly, the new edge to edge screen, and the new display of the iPhone, taking over the old retina display employed in the iPhones currently. Also, there has been talk and all but confirmation of the company taking out the home button. However, that has also been seen in the iPhone 7 as the home button isn’t really a button anymore.

Formatting text is still limited to making it bold or italic

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has released yet another handy update for the Android version of WhatsApp, making the writing formats of bold and italic available for the users now. Even though it is not much, the formatting tools are a welcomed addition nonetheless.

It is important to keep in mind that the update will be incredibly useful for those who wish to highlight things that are important. Additionally, it could also serve as a way to keep a conversation interesting.

On the other hand, apart from introducing new formatting tools, the company also made some much needed changes to the app’s file and document sharing feature. Users will now have the ability to share documents and files directly from Google Drive. This includes PowerPoint, Word and PDF files; the files will automatically be converted to PDF if they already aren’t.

That being said, the few features that have been released with the latest update do have a lot of potential and show a lot of promise. It is possible that the company could be thinking to introduce other formatting tools too, but nothing can be said for certain.

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Then again, there is no denying the fact that Facebook is doing its absolute best to ensure its popular messaging app does not get left out, which should explain the constant updates and features. As long as the social media giant offers handy tools and features, there is no reason why the app will not grow in popularity.

Airbus accused Polish government to be misleading during new helicopter deal negotiations; looks ahead for further actions

Airbus Group SE (EPA:AIR) faced a big blow earlier last week when Polish officials concluded one year of negotiations and selected Lockheed Martin Corporation’s (NYSE:LMT) Sikorsky helicopters for a multi-billion-dollar program. Yesterday, the European aircraft manufacturer released a statement in which it accused the Polish government of misleading the company during the course of negotiations while looking ahead for further actions.

The negotiations between Airbus and Polish government worsen in October last year when the newly elected government decided to scrap the deal. Previous centrist government has been in talks with Airbus since April 2015 to acquire 50 Airbus’ Caracal multi-role helicopters.

Right after the Polish announcement last week, France also turned on Polish and was of the opinion that Paris could review defense cooperation with Poland and might also cancel upcoming presidential visit to Warsaw. Industry experts were of the opinion that Airbus incurred tens of millions of euros to run the helicopter sales campaign for Poland.

Airbus was of the opinion previously that the deal if finalized would have created around 3,800 local jobs that would also have been beneficial for Poland. However with selection of Sikorsky over Airbus, Polish government also dismissed the proposal.

As part of the deal with Sikorsky, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo was of the opinion that the government wanted Polish-made aircraft for its army. Furthermore, Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz reported that the government planned acquisition of two Sikorsky helicopters this year along with eight another next year.

Airbus Helicopters Chief Executive Guillaume Faury was of the opinion that Polish decision to cancel the deal came a day after the company offered latest concessions. Mr. Faury was also of the thought that they might have gone further as compared to Sikorsky in an offer of state owned assembly plant. 

Airbus has already been facing reduction in military orders due to which the company had high hopes from Poland. Based on potential order from Poland, the company invested millions to keep the negotiations going. If the company had received the order for its military helicopters, it would have boosted its revenues from the defense segment over coming years.